Wild River Review
Connecting People, Places, and Ideas: Story by Story
October 2014
Open Borders

PEN WORLD VOICES - INTERVIEW: Georgian Writer David Dephy's Second Skin

His love of the written word is contagious, encouraging our WRR staff to quote Edgar Allen
Poe’s “Raven” with equal gusto.
“While I wonder weak and weary,” Joy Stocke, WRR’s Editor in Chief, continues.
Dephy, originally from Tbilisi, Georgia, arrived in New York City after being personally invited
by Laszlo Jakab Orsos, the Director of PEN American Center. Dephy agreed whole-heartedly to
read his work, making plans to take a side-trip to Baltimore, Maryland to see Edgar Allen Poe’s
grave.
When Dephy is not paying tribute to other artists, he is the consummate writer. As a novelist,
poet and performer, Dephy is a literary giant with deep cross-cultural connections. His works
include several books of poetry and novels, including Let My Twin Find Me which received
several positive reviews. In Georgia, he is famous for the slogan “Stop Russia,” an answer to the
historical oppression of Russian dictatorship.
“Absolutely New York” is the title of his next work, a nod towards the city hub of Eastern United
States. Dephy grew up in the hostile environment of the Soviet Union, listening to American
singers such as Elvis Presley and Pink Floyd. Dephy’s work mixes Westernized influences with
Georgian language, a homage to his own culture.
Dephy’s life, from his upbringing to his stint in the military is a mesmerizing account that at
once speaks not only to his bravery as a writer, but as a human being as well. If you did not know
anything about Dephy, his enthusiasm and open zest for life would immediately inform you
about the depth of his character.
Dephy finishes the recitation of the “Raven,” joyously laughing afterwards.
Interview:
WRR: Most of your poems are in Georgian. Would you ever consider writing in English?
Dephy: No, I write in Georgian, but I always helped translators in translating my poems. By the
way, this is my new work. “Absolutely New York,” it’s called. I’m working everyday.
WRR: Could we ask you to translate this into English and send it to us? The “Lexington” poem?
Because we were actually at that event.
Dephy: There is a little problem in translating. Let me explain why. Generally, it’s difficult to
translate Georgian into English, and it’s not just the peculiarities in Georgian language or
something. I am experimenter, or experimenter with words.
WRR: “I am experimenter.” Is there such a word as “experimenter”?
Dephy: I make some strange things with words. I am like an architect. My work is both building
and poems together. In Georgian language one word, verb and noun, can be used together. For
example, “I will be your bridge.” In Georgia, this is one word.
WRR: “I will be your bridge” is a single word?
Dephy: Yeah. In this word, you can find a noun and verb together. It’s very weird. I found this
many years ago. Now, I try to understand what’s the secret between languages. Because
despite language or even culture or many, many differences, literature has no borders.
Absolutely not. Literature, to me, is like a big space full of these bridges: bridges between us,
between cultures, between characters, between people and between past and future. And
between another time beyond future, beyond the dead and beyond somewhere I don’t know. Of
course literature is not going to disappear. It’s bullshit. Everybody says that in 20 years ago, all
newspapers are going to die. No. Newspapers still exist. Ebook still exists. Radio television still
exists. Yeah, this is everything. This is life’s energy.
WRR: I agree with you and I should say that Wild River would be here if there wasn’t an online
presence. We always wanted to reach an international audience. And we couldn’t afford to do
it in print to distribute worldwide. We couldn’t publish you as quickly as we did if we were still in
print. So I agree with you about what’s happening as far as new technology.
Dephy: I’m not against the progress. I realize and I understand Ebook is a very new and biggest
part in contemporary life. Right? The kind of progress is Ebook, but I have lived in fear about
loosing “skin-book touchy feeling,” something like this.
WRR: Tactile. We call that tactile.
Dephy: Tactile. This is like mysticism. This is a very private thing. There is a spiritual
relationship between reader and author.
WRR: Let’s go back in time and learn a little bit about you, your family, where you were born, all
of that sort of thing.
Dephy: I was born in Georgia, in capital Georgia, Tbilisi. T-B. May I show you my passport,
because nobody believe that David Dephy is my real name. Look. David Dephy- that’s my
name. It’s not my middle name or something, but I never used my surname, Gogibedashvili,
because it’s too long. I call myself David Dephy.
I was born in Georgia in 1968, 21st of June. I finished high school at the fine arts academy and
institute called Johann Sebastian Bach in Germany. My mother was a specialist in the German
language. My father was a physicist. His name was George. My mother’s name is Rowana,
because my grandfather (who gave me this name Dephy) was absolutely crazy about Sir Walter
Scott. And when he was a student, he read Ivanhoe.
My father was my best friend, because he was an open-minded and open-hearted person.
He had a very clear and very strong energy- a very clear spirit. He was like the Empire State
Building to me.
WRR: A rock.
Dephy: Yes, absolutely, to me. And now he’s supporting me from heaven, I suppose. Anyway, I
started writing when I was twenty-four years old. Now I’m forty-two and in a couple of weeks, I’ll
be forty-three.
I was working for television, for newspapers and for radio. I also played the leading roles in
featured films (among them dramatic films) but I’m no actor.
WRR: And this was during communism? How were you able to travel so easily? I’m asking you
out of true ignorance about that time in history.
Dephy: I realize that nothing passes through this world except for immortal seconds when man
sacrifices himself for others, sacrifices himself for people and his own freedom. This is poetry
to me. This is real poetry. Poetry is like sacrifice and this is real and tangible. But during the
Soviet Union time, every poet has a talent. This is very dangerous for our “iron curtain.” Mr.
Reagan said absolutely critically, “Soviet Union is an absolute empire of evil.” Yeah, this is it, but
what about Russian people? What about Russian culture? This is terrible. This is human faith
between human madness and human selfishness. Every person has a right and wants to be
free. In Soviet Union, the word “freedom” was like a stigma, signs of being crazy. “Why do you
want to be free?” everyone aske.
I remember Reagan’s words, “Tear down the wall.” That’s why I like Pink Floyd, because of the
album “Wall,” dedicated to tearing down the wall. The wall is bullshit between us. Why would
we build walls around us and between us? I have no idea why, because Earth and the space in
the sky exists without any borders. Why would we spend all of our time and money and tools on
how we can build new walls between us? Why?
Life is long, but it goes fast. We have no time to bullshit, right? That’s why I consider poetry
to be a big sacrifice. Poetry was, and poetry will always be, everywhere to me; in Russia, in
Georgia, in Europe. Everywhere. It’s like fresh air. It’s like our justification for existence on
planet Earth.
WRR: But you were a sergeant for the Soviet Union at this time?
Dephy: I was a sergeant when the wall went down. I took a big canvas and painted a flag
of America with stars and stripes. Biggest flag. Can you imagine in the Soviet Union Army
Sergeant Dephy made the flag of United States of America? And Georgian flag too, crossed
with four crosses. Everybody was in shock. “David, what are you doing, man? You are crazy.
This is Russia’s territory. This is Soviet Union Army and you with the American flag? You
are insane, man. What are you doing?” And I said, “Maybe I’m crazy, but my craziness it’s
absolutely normal to everybody except you, because you are something. You must understand
what’s happening. You must have your own opinion about everything, because you’re alive,
man. You are human. You are not a bush, or stone, or something.
WRR: America represented something to you then and it still represents something to you now.
When we invaded Iraq, did that change at all?
Dephy: Not exactly. But I do feel it was wrong. War is not the answer.
WRR: So you lived in a kind of fear during the Soviet Union.
Dephy: We did. Like everybody, of course. Nobody knows where is the lenience, where is the
border of Russia’s selfishness and avarice and envy. Why does there ambition never have
any limits? That’s the question; why has there ambition never been limited? 400 years is our
resistance. Can you explain why Russia does not leave us alone for 400 years?
WRR: So let’s back up. Tell us about your publishing career in Georgia. You’re well known in
Georgia?
Dephy: Yes, thank you. I published novels, seven books of poetry, two audio albums and poetry
audio albums with orchestra and electronic band. I write all the time.
I have a great hope in victory and my literature career is built on several words: responsibility,
freedom, love, understanding, etc. This is a break in my bridge, not in my world, but in my
bridge.
WRR: You have craft, you have discipline; those things are key elements. But where do all the
ideas come? People have ideas all the time and people could devote their lives to writing and
never produce worthy novels. How do you insert that inspiration or write that spiritual element
and make sure that your work is reaching through these bridges and making connections?
Because that’s what I believe good literature does.
Dephy: Everyday, I thank god for my mind. I am equally inspired by a good and bad event. I
perceive the meaning of things only if I thoroughly study them and this research inspires me.
Because if this is a conflict, between virtue and evil, this is a good idea for writing. Because
what is the evil to me? Evil is kindness without kindness.
Poetry, to me, is not only a combination of words or just sentences, it’s something unspeakable.
This is a reason for every result, every positive result. That’s why I consider Mozart a genius,
not Stalin. Many people think Stalin was a genius. Kindness and genius- it’s the same thing. Not
evil and genius. Maybe Stalin was a very smart guy, but not a genius.
WRR: While you were talking, I though of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, because
it’s kind of dark. There is darkness that he’s trying to explore into human paradox, into these
layers of consciousness. So it’s not all golden, right? And I wonder, is there some sort of
paradoxical spiritual energy that feeds into your poetry?
Dephy: Yes. Last year, I was this noble guardian and it touches this same question. Where is
the truth? Where is the kindness? The endless culprit between evil and between riches, right?
When the victim at the same time is always an innocent man. This is darkness. Why is the
innocent man always the victim in this conflict? Why does it happen? This is the question. Why
isn’t it possible that on fine day our children will win forever? Many people love the dark sides. I
like it too, because this is mystical. Everything is mystical, dark side too. Light side too. It’s both.
It’s our nation.
WRR: What I think that you’re saying and what poets try to explore is what you were saying
earlier; we’re so afraid of happiness and peace, because our drug would be taken away. We’re
afraid to go to that new paradigm and I think that poets go there. Poets understand what it feels
like. Poets must build a better understanding. A new bridge.
Dephy: Absolutely. I wish to make the world a better place. And we must achieve it by better
means. The world has a chance to become a better place, because the art is authentic if it is
based on universal truth for everybody. But what is the truth? Where is love? It’s very simple
for us, for poets, to let love in. Love is the biggest responsibility and responsibility will give you
freedom. You will be free if you have responsibility. It’s madness; freedom without responsibility.
But what is the world? Not only rocks and stones and buildings, but people, right? It’s a human
being and this is our relationship between nations, between states, between time, past and
future, and this is our responsibility; to change, if we can, to change one second. This is poetry.
WRR: We heard your poem “21 Rituals,” and we were completely transfixed by it. You were
invited to read your work by Laszlo Jakab, the Director of PEN American Center?
Dephy: Mr. D.W. Gibson told Jakab about me, because I was coming to visit the United States
from April to June. And April in New York was the important PEN World’s Voices Festival. Jakab
contacted me in email and he talked to me about my time, my opinion and my wishes. I told
myself, “Dephy, you are crazy if you think too many times about this. As for right now with right
here, yes.” After this, Jakab answers, telling me in email, “Dephy, I need your poems, because I
have one idea. Just send to me your poems.” And I sent him five of my poems. Later, there was
a letter from Jakab. “Dephy, congratulations. I choose you. I choose you and you will be with
Laurie Anderson in New York.”
And after this, we contacted each other by email. It was nice. And one day, I was in my mother’s
house with my mother, me and my friend. He’s an artist and journalist. And we were just sitting
and talking and nearby me is my letter. And so the letter from Jakab and said “David, you aren’t
home, but I will call you.” “Oh my god,” I told my mother, “maybe he supposes I’m in Brooklyn
or in Holland. What does he mean he’ll call me? This is Georgia. This is at the last drop of the
Earth. After five minutes, my phone started ringing. My mother took it and started speaking
German. And Orsos was in shock. “Georgia? This is Berlin? This is Germany?”
I picked up the phone and said, “Orsos, I am David Dephy. Please to meet you.” Can you
imagine that he called for me in Georgia? He is a very nice guy.
WRR: We were very impressed by the World’s Voices Festival this year. Laurie Anderson’s a
genius and it was really fun to watch her interact with you and with the poets. What was it like to
meet her and work with her?
Dephy: I was a little nervous, but I started to feel like I was home, like I was friends with Laurie.
And after this action when I performed for her my poems during soundcheck, she was playing
violin- piano too. I turned around. I was back against the audience and the empty hall.
Laszlo Jakab and Laurie went off and seemed to be talking about me. And I though, but why so
long? What happened? It’s a minute, two minutes. It’s too long. One minute of silence is like a
century. Laurie came to me, very close and said, “My lovely David Dephy, you are twenty-first
century poet. Come on. Let’s drink coffee.”
And Salman Rushdie came twice. He said, “Good job. You wrote down your country for
contemporary literature. Yeah, good job, David.”
WRR: He is a giving person. I mean, this man has every kind of reputation you can have;
good, bad or different, but we have seen him do this World Voices Festival every year and be
supportive.
Dephy: Maybe I will come again. I don’t know. Nobody knows. But my aim is to be published
throughout the world: in Europe, in Great Britain, in Eastern Europe and the U.S.
WRR: If you had to give some advice to aspiring poets and writers, what would you say?
I’m a writer. This is my vision. And I realize this much is demanded of me, but not much is
given to me. Right? Take love or take poetry. Take responsibility. Take freedom. They are such
enormous concepts. They can’t be my personal matter, right? That’s why I consider poetry
not as my personal matter or love- No. There is such a mortal concept. They can deal with my
personal matter.
You must share your emotions. I am so happy. Everyday, I thank God. Maybe I have no money-
maybe I have no sums- but I always satisfy my minimal needs. I have no coffee? It’s okay. I
have just water. I have no cigarettes? It’s okay. I can breathe the air.
Every word is alive and we are alive too as long as we understand one another, as long as we
believe one another. And also if in our inner world and this multi-language dictionary of mankind
survives the following words such as poetry, freedom and responsibility, then the world will
also survive. For me, this is the mission of literature and a justification for existence. I repeat
these words many times, but again, life is long, but it goes fast and we must catch every mortal
moment because this is immortality in life.

David Dephy

Editor's Note:  This interview is part of an ongoing series that has grown out of Wild River Review's coverage of the World Voices Festival.  Devid Dephy appeared at the PEN WORLD VOICES FESTIVAL in 2011.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary...

David Dephy's voice rises clear and distinct through Starbucks near the United Nations Plaza giving Edgar Allen Poe's famous poem "The Raven" a syncopated energy: "Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore...”

Dephy's love of language and rhyme is contagious. "Suddenly there came a tapping," continues Joy Stocke, WRR’s Editor in Chief.

A moment before, Dephy had gleefully shared how Poe's short story "MS. Found in a Bottle" was an influence on Herman Melville and his literary classic, Moby Dick. "You never know how the work of a great writer will filter into your own work," he said, and smiled.

Novelist, poet and performer, Dephy is a literary celebrity in his native Georgia, and grew up under the under the oppression of Russian dictatorship and President Eduard Shevardnadze's corrupt presidency.

"But I listened to American singers such as Elvis Presley and Pink Floyd," he says, "and dreamed of the freedom writers had in America."

His work reflects westernized influences in play with the Georgian language and includes performance art, music, poetry, and novels. During the Rose Revolution, which forced the resignation of Shevardnadze, Dephy was one of the leaders of the disobedience movement, coining the slogan “Stop Russia,” which was taken up by the youth movement.

Absolutely New York is the title of the project Dephy set for himself last spring when he appeared at the PEN American Center's World Voices Festvial in 2011, a nod toward the city's ability to spark the dreams of writers and visitors like himself.

 
WRR: Your notes for Absolutely New York are in English, but you are planning to write the book in your native Georgian. Would you ever consider writing a book of poems in English?
 
David Dephy: I write in Georgian, but I always help the translators who work on my poems. In my journal for Absolutely New York, I am writing about the rhythym of New York City, and yes, I am writing in English. Although it’s difficult to translate Georgian into English, I shall write the book in Georgian. It's not just about the peculiarities in the Georgian language. I am an experimenter, or experimenter with words. So, I am experimenting with the Georgian language and how it's constructed. There is no easy way to bring this into English.
 
WRR: Is there such a word as “experimenter"?
 
Dephy: I make some strange things with words. I am like an architect. My work is both building and poems together. In the Georgian language one word, verb and noun, can be used together. For example, “I will be your bridge.” In Georgian, this is one word.
 
WRR: “I will be your bridge” is a single word?
 
Dephy: Yeah. In this word, you can find a noun and verb together. It’s very weird. I found this many years ago. Now, I try to understand what’s the secret between languages. Because despite language or even culture or many, many differences, literature has no borders. Absolutely not.

Literature, to me, is like a big space full of these bridges: bridges between us, between cultures, between characters, between people and between past and future. And between another time beyond future, beyond the dead and beyond somewhere I don’t know.

Of course literature is not going to disappear. Everybody said 20 years ago that newspapers were going to die. No. Newspapers still exist. Books still exist. Radio and television still exists. The form changes, but to communicate, to build bridges, we must change with the form. This is life’s energy.

I’m not against progress. I realize and I understand how Ebooks are becoming the biggest part of contemporary life. But in regard to books, I have a fear about losing what I call “skin-book-touch feeling."
 
WRR: You could say the tactile presence of books.
 
Dephy: Tactile. Yes. This is like mysticism. This is a very private thing. There is a spiritual relationship between reader and author.
 
WRR: Let’s go back in time and learn a little bit about you, your family, where you were born.

Dephy: I was born in Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, in 1968 on the 21st of June. I finished high school at the Johann Sebastian Bach Fine Arts Academy and institute in Germany. My mother was a specialist in the German language. My father was a physicist. His name was George. My mother’s name is Rowana because my grandfather (who gave me this name Dephy) was absolutely crazy about Sir Walter Scott. And when he was a student, he read Ivanhoe.

My father was my best friend because he was an open-minded and open-hearted person. He had a very clear and very strong energy--a very clear spirit. He was like the Empire State Building to me. And now he’s supporting me from heaven, I suppose.

Anyway, I started writing when I was twenty-four years old. I was working for television, for newspapers and for radio. I also played the leading roles in featured films (among them dramatic films), but I’m no actor.
 
WRR: And this was during the Shevardnaze era?

Dephy: Yes. I was young and I would listen to Pink Floyd because of the album The Wall, which was dedicated to tearing down the Berlin Wall--the symbol of oppression for the countries in the Soviet block. All walls are bullshit between us. Why would we build walls around us and between us? I have no idea why, because Earth and the space in the sky exists without any borders.

Life is long, but it goes fast. We have no time to bullshit, right? That’s why I consider poetry to be a big sacrifice because it passes through walls. Poetry was, and poetry will always be, everywhere to me; in Russia, in Georgia, in Europe. Everywhere. It’s like fresh air. It’s like our justification for existence on planet Earth.

 
WRR: But you were a sergeant for the Soviet Union at this time?
 
Dephy: I was a sergeant when the wall went down. I took a big canvas and painted a flag of America with stars and stripes. Can you imagine in the Soviet Union Army Sergeant Dephy made the flag of the United States of America? And a Georgian flag too, crossed with four crosses. Everybody was in shock.

“David, what are you doing, man?" they said. "You are crazy. This is Russia’s territory. This is the Soviet Union Army and you with the American flag?”

And I said, “Maybe I’m crazy, but my craziness is absolutely normal to everybody except you, because you must have your own opinion about everything. You’re alive, man. You are human. You are not a bush, or stone."
 
WRR: America represented something to you then and it still represents something to you now. When we invaded Iraq, did that change at all?
 

Dephy: Not exactly. But I do feel it was wrong. War is not the answer.
 
WRR: So you lived in a kind of fear during the Soviet Union.
 
Dephy: We did. Like everybody, of course. For four hundred years we lived under Russian control.
 
WRR: So let’s back up. Tell us about your publishing career in Georgia.

Dephy: I published novels, seven books of poetry, two audio albums, and poetry audio albums with orchestra and electronic band. I write all the time.
 
WRR: You have craft, you have discipline; those things are key elements. But where do all the ideas come? People have ideas all the time and devote their lives to writing and never produce worthy novels. How do you insert that inspiration or write that spiritual element and make sure that your work crosses these bridges and makes connections?
 
Dephy: I am equally inspired by good and bad events. I perceive the meaning of things only if I thoroughly study them and the research inspires me. Because if there is a conflict between virtue and evil, this is a good subject to write about. What is evil to me? Evil is kindness without kindness.
 
Poetry, to me, is not only a combination of words or sentences, it’s something unspeakable. There is a reason for every result, every positive result. That’s why I consider Mozart a genius, not Joseph Stalin. Many people think Stalin was a genius. Kindness and genius--it’s the same thing. Not evil and genius. Maybe Stalin was a very smart guy, but not a genius.
  
WRR: What poets try to explore is something you said earlier. We’re so afraid of happiness and peace, because if we choose that path, our drug would be taken away. We’re afraid to go to that new paradigm.

Dephy: Absolutely. Love is the biggest responsibility and responsibility will give you freedom. Freedom without responsibility is madness.
 
But what is the world? Not only rocks and stones and buildings, but people, right? Relationships between nations, between states, between time, past and future. It is our responsibility to change, even for only one second. This is poetry.
 
WRR: We heard your poem “21 Rituals,” and we were completely transfixed by it. You were invited to read your work by Laszlo Jakab Orsos, the Director of PEN American Center?
 
Dephy: D.W. Gibson, Executive Director of Ledig House Writers Colony, told Jakab about me, because I was coming to visit the United States from April to June. And April in New York was PEN World Voices Festival. Jakab contacted me and talked to me about my time, my opinion, and my wishes.

Later he emailed and said, “Dephy, I need your poems.” And I sent him five of my poems. He choose me to participate with Laurie Anderson in New York at the 92nd Street Y for an event called The Second Skin.

WRR: Laurie Anderson is a role model for so many and it was fun to watch her interact with you and the other poets, including Yusef Kumanyakaa and Pia Taldrop. What was it like to meet Laurie and work with her?

Dephy: I was a little nervous, but I started to feel like I was home, like I was friends with Laurie. And after this action when I performed for her my poems during soundcheck, she was playing violin-piano too. I turned around. I was back against the audience and the empty hall.  

Jakab and Laurie went off and seemed to be talking about me. And I thought, but why so long? What happened? It’s a minute, two minutes. It’s too long. One minute of silence is like a century.

And then Laurie came to me, very close, and said, “My lovely David Dephy, you are twenty-first century poet. Come on. Let’s drink coffee.”
 
And Salman Rushdie came twice. He said, “Good job. You wrote down your country for contemporary literature. Yeah, good job, David.”
 
WRR: If you had to give some advice to aspiring poets and writers, what would you say?
 
Dephy: They must truly believe that they are writers. That this is their vision. They must realize that much will be demanded of them, but they can't expect as much to be given back. Take love or take poetry. Take responsibility. Take freedom. They are such enormous concepts. They can’t remain a personal matter, right? We must grow larger than that.
 

Because for me, every word is alive and we are alive, too, as long as we understand one another, as long as we believe one another. And also if our inner world and this multi-language dictionary of mankind accepts the following words: poetry, freedom and responsibility...then the world will also survive.

For me, this is the mission of literature and a justification for existence. I repeat these words many times, but will say them again: Life is long, but it goes fast and we must catch every mortal moment.


 

Twenty One Ritual Kisses by David Dephy

 

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Kimberly Nagy, Founder

Incorrigible collector of ideas, Kim Nagy is the Founder of Wild River Review. In between scoping out writing talent, new articles, interviews and creating new series, she is a poet, professional writer, and dedicated reader who has interviewed a number of leading thinkers, including Academy-Award winning filmmaker, Pamela Tanner Boll, MacArthur Genius Award-winning Edwidge Danticathistorian James McPhersonplaywright Emily Mann, biologist and novelist, Sunetra Gupta and philosopher Alain de Botton.

Nagy is an author, editor and professional storyteller. She received her BA in history at Rider University where she was influenced by professors who stressed works of literature alongside dates and historical facts--as well as the importance of including the perspectives of women and minorities in the historical record. During a period in which she fell in love with writing and research, Nagy wrote an award-winning paper about the suppression of free speech during World War I, and which featured early 20th century feminist and civil rights leader, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.

Nagy continued her graduate studies at University of Connecticut, Storrs, where she studied with Dr. Karen Kupperman, an expert in early contact between Native Americans and the first European settlers. Nagy wrote her Masters thesis, focusing on the work of the first woman to be accepted into the Connecticut Historical Society as well as literary descriptions of Native Americans in Connecticut during the 19th century. Nagy has extensive background and interest in anthropological, oral history and cultural research.

After graduate school, Nagy applied her academic expertise to a career in publishing, in which she worked for two of the world's foremost publishers—-Princeton University Press and W.W. Norton—as well as at Thomson, Institutional Investor Magazine,Routledge UK, and Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.

Praised for her literary yet down-to-earth style, Nagy is now the author of the column (and forthcoming book) Triple Goddess Trials, a mythology/memoir that draws on the divine feminine archetype, phases of the moon, and timeless stories (Medea, Aphrodite, Kali and Syrinx to name but a few) to shed light on women's experiences in the modern world. Readers have called Nagy's work "thought-provoking," "funny," "deeply important" "inspiring" and "real."  

EMAIL: knagywrr@gmail.com
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Joy Stocke, WRR Editor-in-Chief

http://www.amazon.com/Anatolian-Days-Nights-Dervishes-Goddesses/dp/0983918805

Joy E. Stocke is founder and Editor in Chief of Wild River Review and founder of Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC.  With more than twenty-five years experience as a writer and journalist, Stocke works with many of the writers who appear in the pages of Wild River Review, as well as clients from around the world.

In addition, she is Senior Editor for Wild River Books and has shepherded numerous writers into print. She has interviewed Nobel Prizewinners Orhan Pamuk and Muhammud Yunus, Pulitzer Prizewinner Paul Muldoon, Paul Holdengraber, Host of LIVE from the NYPL; Roshi Joan Halifax, founder of Upaya Zen Center; anthropologist and expert on end of life care, Mary Catherine Bateson; Ivonne Baki, President of the Andean Parliament; and Templeton Prizewinner Freeman Dyson among others.

In 2006, along with Wild River Review co-founder,  Kim Nagy, Stocke interviewed scientists and artists including former Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman and Dean of Faculty, David P. Dobkin for the documentary Quark Park, chronicling the creation of an award-winning park built on a vacant lot in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey; a park that united art, science and community.

She serves on the boards of the Princeton Middle East Society, the Center for Emergent Diplomacy, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and is a member of the Turkish Women's International Network.

In addition, she has written extinsively on her travels in Greece and Turkey.  Her memoir, Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses & Saints, based on more than ten years of travel through Turkey, co-written with Angie Brenner was published in March 2012. 

Her essay "Turkish American Food" appears in the 2nd edition of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (OUP, 2013).  The volume won both International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) for Beverage/Reference/Technical category, 2014; and the Gourmand Award for the Best Food Book of the Year, 2014.

 

She is the author of a bi-lingual book of poems, Cave of the Bear, translated into Greek by Lili Bita based on her travels in Western Crete, and is currently writing a book about Baja Sur, California

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism, she participated in the Lindisfarne Symposium on The Evolution of Consciousness with cultural philosopher, poet and historian, William Irwin Thompson. In 2009, she became a Lindisfarne Fellow.

EMAIL: jstocke@wildriverreview.com
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/joy.stocke
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